Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday! | 19/03/13

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk as a way for writers and readers to stay in touch!

What I'm Reading

On Monday I finished Jane Nickerson's Strands of Bronze and Gold, which is a retelling of the Bluebeard myth set in 19th century Mississippi. I enjoyed it, but I found quite a few flaws in it. I'm planning on writing up a review of it soon, so keep an eye out for that if you're interested in hearing my thoughts on it!


Right now I'm making my way through Ian Mortimer's The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England and I'm liking it so far - it's very conversational, which is always a plus when it comes to non-fiction! I'm also making my way through Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches, the first book in the All Souls trilogy, and Susan Ee's World After, the second book in the Penryn and the End of Days series. I'm not quite sure how I feel about them yet, but they're definitely both series with a lot of potential.

What I'm Writing

I'm still working away on my WIP, and I have to submit an extract on Friday for my first seminar with one of our new tutors next week. I'm working on a pretty important scene that a lot of my seminar group have been waiting to see for a while, so I just hope I can do it justice! That being said we usually submit pretty rough drafts to our workshops, so I'm not letting myself stress out over it too much. 

I've recently started planning a novella I'd like to write for Camp NaNoWriMo in April, too, and by recently I mean really recently. It's going okay so far - I'm waiting until I finish the scene for Friday before I start planning it in more detail.

Outside of story writing I've been writing a bunch of reviews for throughout April (I'll be talking about this in more detail at the end of next week!) and the other day I finished writing a post about why we still read and write about witches, which I suppose is kind of a companion post to my post from last week about Historical Fiction

I mentioned last week that I had to do a presentation. I had to talk about my current WIP and how it relates to the wider world, so I ended up doing a lot of thinking about why people write Historical Fiction and why witches still fascinate us. It seemed a shame to let that research go to waste!

What Inspires Me Right Now

March is Women's History Month in the UK, US and Australia, so this month I've been learning about some pretty amazing women that I'd never heard about before.

One woman I had heard about before is Ching Shih, the Cantonese pirate who terrorised the China sea in the early 19th century. I haven't delved into poetry in a while, but I'd love to try and write a sea shanty about her!

What Else I've Been Up To

Somehow last week I completely forgot to mention that I'm a Book Depository Affiliate! There's now a snazzy little link on the right that you can click if you want to buy yourself a book from The Book Depository, and I'll get a small commission. I'm still a student, so every little helps!

I've been a little unwell the past few days so I haven't been up to that much outside of reading and writing, but this weekend I'm off to my friend's birthday party. She's having a 1920's themed cocktail party so I get to dress up as a flapper - needless to say, I'm excited!

What's new with you?

20 comments:

  1. One of my friends threw a "Speak Easy" party last year that was super fun. Have a good time at your 1920's shin-dig. I hope you post pictures of your flapper dress next week.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you, if I remember to take photos (I can be pretty useless) I'll definitely post some here next week! :)

      Thanks, you too!

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  2. I found The Time Traveler's Guide... to be really informative and easy to read. It was a big help for the Medieval MS I was working on a couple of years ago.
    Have fun dressing as a flapper! That would be awesome.

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    1. I'm really liking it so far, in fact so far this year I've enjoyed pretty much all of the non-fiction I've come into contact with. :)

      Thank you, I'm sure I will!

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  3. The 1920s theme party sounds like fun. I enjoyed your post on Friday about why historical fiction. Good luck with your novella. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to it. :) Thank you! You have an awesome weekend, too!

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  4. I like the idea of writing a novella during NaNoWriMo. That seems like a much more attainable goal than writing a whole novel. I hope you're feeling better for your friend's 1920s party. I attended a flapper cafe event one time and that was tons of fun. The dresses were so cute back then. Have a great week!

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    1. Me too - 50,000 words in 30 days terrifies me, even when they don't have to be particularly good words! I actually prefer Camp NaNoWriMo to the official NaNoWriMo because you can tweak your wordcount and write however many words you like. :)

      Thank you! :) In a few years' time we'll be in the 2020's, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the fashion made a comeback!

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  5. Ooo, a sea shanty would be cool! I've never heard of Ching Shih, but that sounds fascinating. It sounds like you're making great progress on a few different projects. That's awesome! I wish I could say the same. ;-)

    A 1920s themed party would be awesome! I served at something like that in college and got to wear a flapper dress. It was SO much fun! Have a great time. :-)

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    1. I think so too, I've never tried one before. :) I'm not much of a poet, but I think the challenge of a sea shanty would be a lot of fun. Haha, it probably sounds like I'm making more progress than I am. :P

      I love 1920's themed stuff in general, and yet not once in my 4 years of university have I attended a 20's party. I can't wait to change that. Thank you, I'm really looking forward to it!

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  6. I've signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo for April as well as the YA Bucceneers Spring Boot Camp. Have fun at your friends 1920's themed party.

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    1. Sounds like you've got a lot going on then - good luck with it all! :) Thank you, I'm sure I will!

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  7. I've been thinking about signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I did it last year, but I plan on revising my novel not writing a new one so I guess that option is out. I do love NaNoWriMo. Have fun!

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    1. Good luck with your revision! :)

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  8. Ching Shih sounds an interesting character... hmmm... I'm sure there's a novel there. :)

    I hope you're back to full health for the party, Jess. I'm sure you'll have a great time. Have a good week! :)

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    1. She certainly seems novel-worthy to me. :)

      Thank you, I'm already feeling a little better today so hopefully I'll be fine by Saturday!

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  9. Sounds like a fun party - hope you're feeling better for it. I'm always impressed by writers who pull off a NaNo month. Here's wishing you all the best!

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  10. Witches and speakeasies both happen to be important elements in one of my own WIPs. I'd read about them anytime!

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    1. That sounds like a brilliant combination!

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